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Freemium: Meaning of the term explained - with examples

The video game industry has evolved rapidly and in this process numerous new categories, genres and terms have emerged. Particularly important among them are freemium games, and we explain what's behind them.

Payment optional: freemium games are tempting because they allow you to start for free.

The term freemium cannot be applied only to games, as it stands for a certain business principle. However, the gaming market is the most important and well-known application area for freemium offers.

Freemium: meaning explained using video games

Freemium is composed of Free and Premium. This means:
  • Freemium software is basically free.
  • In the program, however, there is content that is only available for a fee - this represents the premium part.
  • In terms of games, this means: freemium are necessarily always also free-to-play games; however, the reverse is not always true (although most of the time), as there are free games that do not offer purchasable additional content. Such games fall into the free-to-play category, but not under freemium.
What proportion of free content and premium elements depends entirely on the game. In role-playing games, for example, it is common for level progress to be greatly accelerated by purchasable boosters. In the trendy shooter Fortnite, players can buy skins and dances with real money. The market figures show that the freemium principle is well received and generates large sales. Adobe Acrobat Reader is a good example of user software: The program can be used for free to open, but many additional functions are not available for free.

By Damour Kirschke

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